This Ford F-150 Raptor Is The Latest In A Long LinePosted in Features on August 12, 2016
When Jimmy Schultz was a kid his family moved from Michigan to California. Once he was in California, he learned about dirt bikes and off-roading. Not that there aren’t some fine trails in Michigan, but when you live in Palm Desert, California, there’s just no end to great riding.
Jimmy began with a Total Chaos–equipped Toyota pickup in high school, a trick Subaru WRX and others, but he always wanted a fully built prerunner. One that he could take to the desert, Glamis, mountain roads, or wherever Jimmy wanted to go that day. He had built and owned many types of trucks, this 2012 Ford F-150 was actually lowered and rolling on 26s when he bought it, but soon he was knocking on HM Racing’s door looking to turn the Ford into his dream prerunner.
Things started out innocently enough. Jimmy was thinking that he’d have HM put on one of their long travel kits, but that would also entail fenders to give clearance. Then, if he was going to put on rear fenders, he might as well do something with the bed. And if it’s going to go fast, it would probably be smart to have a cage, so why not just toss the bed and back-half it? And then. You know the tune.
The final plan was for HM Racing to build one killer prerunner that was done from front to back. Starting with a full cage and back half. Not just any cage, but a fully race-legal cage that attaches to the factory frame just after the cab, incorporating the front and rear suspension systems.
The HM Racing front system is their Long Travel system that includes arms and spindles, accompanied by King shocks. Each set per wheel includes a 2.5 Race Series coilovers, 3.5 5-tube Race Series Bypass, and 2.5 King bumpstops on all four corners. Ford Performance brakes are used up front. The total wheel travel is just north of 19 inches.
The rear is a HM Racing four-link that Jimmy claims to give up nearly 30 inches of travel, all of which is controlled by the aforementioned trio of King products. The long HM trailing arms are attached to a sweet HM Pro Rear End Housing that features 40-spline axles, a Currie Third Member fitted with a Detroit Locker and a 5:14 gear ratio. This time, though, the brakes are Wilwood’s with six-piston calipers and drilled and slotted rotors.
Rolling stock is hearty. Seventeen-inch Walker Evans Beadlocks have been shod with 37x12.50x17 Toyo MT Open Country tires for off-roading. Jimmy has a set of Toyo MTs that he’s shaved down into paddles for when he’s going to more sandy locations.
Sand is fun, but you need a lot of power on tap to be able to stay on top of it, and this Ford has plenty. The twin BorgWarner turbos are fed with a 73mm BBK throttle body that gets its clean air from a K&N air filter, while MBRP downpipes and race muffler release the exhaust quickly. A SCT Live Wire tuner bumps up the pulses that originate from an Optima Yellow Top battery. The end result has the 3.5L V-6 producing 500hp and 550 lb-ft of torque.
Westech did the engine tuning, but they also did some work to the factory transmission too. A pair of CBR transmission coolers have been installed in the bed area, as well as a 60-gallon Harmon fuel cell. Inland Empire driveline built the driveshaft.
There was one thing that a now older Jimmy wanted out of his new runner, and that was that it was at least as comfortable as the stock truck was. The need for real seats necessitated the removal of the stock units in favor of the four PRP Pro Comp seats that have been covered in leather and suede. A set of PRP harnesses provides the protection, but as Jimmy wanted, the A/C and heater still work, and the stock stereo still puts out the tunes even when hitting a rough whoops section at speed. The stereo is a Sony with a 7-inch LCD touch screen that plays through the stock Ford speakers.
Jimmy wanted the factory dash to appear, well, factory, but he also wanted to have the things he’d need out on the trail, so a Lowrance GPS unit was installed nicely into the passenger-side dash face. A PCI Race Radio has been mounted alongside the center console. Jimmy himself did the installation of the interior pieces. With the exterior, Jimmy used Glassworks Unlimited front fenders and rear bedsides, along with an OEM Raptor hood and a Fiberwerx front grille, to make the F-150 a lot more Raptor-like. Then, he had Haziel Paint and Body apply Chevy white paint. Jimmy says that the Chevy white is brighter than the Ford white. Definitely brighter than the Ford stock lights is the 40-inch Baja Designs OnX6 Racer Edition Arc Series LED lightbar that adorns the front bumper (that bumper is part of the larger cage built by HM Racing).
When most of us begin building vehicles, be they off-road or whatever, we knew that we had that one great truck in our future. Jimmy has built his, and now that he has what he always wanted, he’s going to make the best of it.